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BenQ ODD R&D Now Part Of PBDS??

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BenQ ODD R&D Now Part Of PBDS??

Postby Ian on Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:51 am

With Lite-On taking over BenQ's ODD business, I kind of expected them to merge the two R&D staffs. According to DigiTimes though, it appears that they were sucked into the PBDS (joint venture between BenQ and Philips) and will be Philips' licensing agent.

http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20060804A6034.html

Philips BenQ Digital Storage (PBDS), a joint venture between Royal Philips Electronics and BenQ established in February 2003, has been reorganized to manage Philips' patent royalties for optical disc drives (ODDs) with operations to begin on August 7, according to PBDS.

The reorganization was due to Lite-On IT acquiring BenQ's ODD business unit in April of this year, noted PBDS. Philips originally negotiated and collected royalty fees for its ODD patents but has authorized PBDS to act as its agent after the Lite-On IT buyout, according to PBDS.

In the reorganization, Alpha Tsai, originally associate vice president for BenQ's ODD business, replaced Joseph Chuang, currently CEO of Philips Taiwan, as CEO of PBDS, the company indicated. In addition, PBDS took over all of BenQ's ODD R&D and sales staff members and has set up a branch office in the US and another in Europe, the company noted.

With PBDS now handling Philips' ODD royalty affairs, the company stands a good chance of becoming one of the world's top ODD suppliers/vendors by partnering with Taiwanese OEM/ODM ODD makers so that their production is exempt from royalty charges under licensed use of patents from Philips.


Personally, I think this is a huge waste of talent. I'm a big fan of Lite-On, but when you compare their DVD writers to BenQ's... you get the point.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:16 pm

I've now heard rumours that BenQ plans to leave the ODD business, at least in North America. One of the larger retail outlets I have contacts at sited BenQ's difficulties with Samsung brand optical disc drives, and the price war they've been having. Apparently it's no longer profitable for BenQ to sell drives in North America.

Our only hope is that LiteON will start using BenQ drives under their own brand... but at least initially it looked like that was unlikely for DVD burners.
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Postby Ian on Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:31 pm

Sigh.. that really sucks. As popular as BenQ is, they never really broke into the retail market over here. Aside from Circuit City, I don't think I've ever seen BenQ brand drives in any large chains. That would also explain why the DW1670 was never offered over here.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:32 pm

i don't get it.
so what did Lite-On actually get out of the BenQ 'acquisition' (if that's' what it is) ???
they can sell current-generation BenQ drives under the Lite-On brand? how long's that good for ? 1 year tops.
did Lite-On get any of BenQ's technologies (or i should say Philips') ?
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Postby [buck] on Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:57 pm

I don't get it either. What use are a bunch of ODD engineers to some royalty-collecting bureaucracy?
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Postby karangguni on Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:24 pm

I'm guessing they got the engineers, two factories (one in Malaysia, the other in China) and licensing rights to use BenQ's technology. That might explain why Lite-On suddenly started experimenting with jitter scanning in DVDScan.

The way I look at it, BenQ did what Sanyo did a few years ago - it got out of the ODD production business but stayed with R&D. I am guessing that one the things the Philips/BenQ R&D unit will be involved in is creating chipsets and selling them to other drive manufacturers, like how Sanyo provides the chipsets for Plextor writers. I only hope that Lite-On is one of its customers.
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Postby Ian on Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:10 pm

While I'd like it if Lite-On were to use Philips chipsets, was a rumor a few months ago that that they were going to start using NEC.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:49 am

Ian wrote:While I'd like it if Lite-On were to use Philips chipsets, was a rumor a few months ago that that they were going to start using NEC.


There was also a rumour that LiteON spread that rumour simply to scare Mediatek into lowering their prices to LiteON :P
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Postby TCAS on Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:41 pm

Regardless what chipset Lite-On would use in their design of DVD writers I just prefer to stay away from their drive simply because the last few years experiences of Lite-ON users have not been that promising.
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Postby Dartman on Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:43 pm

Same here, got burned trying two different 811's right after my Sony 500 and not going to do that again. I just hope it doesn't screw up BenQ drives in any way. The Bios updates have gotten more LiteOn like, lousy, short text descriptions of changes, verses nice long easily understood change logs before.
Lets hope they do a few more updates for the 1655, nothing new in ages...
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